Ready! Set! The 12 Days begin NOW!

The "Twelve Days of Christmas" are not a count-down to Christmas, as often supposed, but a "count-up" from Christmas to the Epiphany, January 6. Except where the Epiphany is a civil holiday (as it is even in many very secularized countries) or a holy day of obligation (which it is not in the USA), it... Continue Reading →

Who are all those people, anyway?

The Genealogy of Jesus that begins Matthew's Gospel. Christmas Eve is becoming an increasingly popular time for families and individuals to come to Mass, which means most people hear the Vigil Mass Gospel which contains the long list of names of the ancestors of Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-25).... Continue Reading →

Tough love

St. Paul and the sinfully divided community at Corinth and Jesus confounding the Pharisees by healing on the Sabbath. What do they have in common? Love isn’t always warm fuzzies; sometimes it’s very demanding and seemingly harsh. Sometimes the Gospel challenges us to be faithful; to the reality of our call to follow Christ. St.... Continue Reading →

Nostalgia & Reality

The much-too-late downfall of Cardinal McCarrick, whom I never knew personally but admired by reputation for many years, is the most recent of the ongoing flood of scandals challenging the Church. I don't think the flood is subsiding, and I suspect there are undoubtedly more challenges and scandals about to cascade down the spillway, In... Continue Reading →

Smiles by the Ton

Do you see the "Smiles" button in the menu above? Have you ever clicked it to see what's there? Try it. You'll find the complete collection of the "Smile" pages I've compiled over the past year for the morning bulletin at Nazareth House. Now I've put all 286 "Smile" pages into an ebook. Nearly every morning,... Continue Reading →

“Studies say…”, so they say.

Coffee - good or bad for you - is one of the things perennially in the news, which makes this fascinating talk especially relevant.. This is quoted from the TED blurb publicizing this video: You know those amazing health stories that start out "Studies say..."? All too often, there's a paywall between you and the... Continue Reading →

Holy Water

Holy Saturday, as I've often said, is the only day of the entire year that does not have a liturgical celebration for it. (The Easter Vigil, often improperly referred to as an evening Holy Saturday Mass - yuck! - is the solemn, festive beginning of Easter, even if our clocks want to tell us it's still... Continue Reading →

Three Days that Transformed the World

The events from Thursday evening to Sunday morning – the Last Supper, Agony and Betrayal, Trial and Torture, Death on the Cross, Sabbath Rest in the Tomb, and Resurrection – form one Mega-Event after which nothing is the same. Year after year, the Church’s Liturgy relives these events in Spirit and Truth. Our ceremonies are not... Continue Reading →

Angry Judge to Wounded Healer

This is a good reflection while we are still near the beginning of Lent. The image of an angry God, the almighty vengeful despot, wanting to be appeased by the blood of His Son, has been too dominant in popular Christian culture for too much of our history. Royal governance and judicial trials, rather than familial... Continue Reading →

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